Holding a fish for record verification

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by 1gr8bldr, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    341
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    Pondering over the latest NC State record catfish that was caught, released and found dead. I suspect that the majority of us are just like this guy. He tried his best, had upmost respect for the fish, cradled the fish... all he knew to do.... and yet the fish died. In his documentary, he conveyed his hope of better information, better means, to hold and preserve a fish like this.

    It makes me ponder over the fact that I.... most of us... are not prepared. It's not reasonable for us to carry a 300 gallon tank in our trucks to the boat landing each time out. But... what can we do? I post this that it may lead to a thread.... containing good advice, thoughts possibly outside the box. Possibly, a resource of state by state contact info of the biologist phone numbers. Possibly... a state by state resource of catfish clubs, whom might invest in a suitable tank that could house such a fish. Possibly... just info on what works, and what does not work.

    In this case, this fish died early on. Even though he swam off. Tied to the pier in one of the videos, he could not stay upright and kept turning sideways. Tank or no tank. whether it was surface water temps or previous trama, he was in trouble. And I don't think these fish recover after this. Although seemingly, he seemed to recover before release.

    So, as I ponder what I would/should do, if, I were to ever catch a fish of a lifetime, I think.... how does a fish reach exhaustion during a fight to the surface? Humans usually don't reach exhaustion from muscle fatigue, but rather lack of oxygen in the lungs. i wonder if it compares... that at the point of human exhaustion, we get a breather... and recover.... a fish, just the opposite, is then with held on the boat floor in the most critical time, exponentially compounding his lack of life dependent need of oxygen and water. This, I don't know. I hope someone whom does know, can clear up these speculations I have.

    So, I hope many will respond with their thoughts, to ponder over, a sort of think tank. I'll be looking for a biologist contact to post on our local catfish facebook group. Some of these known lakes that have the potential to produce the next State record, I hope they have a local face book catfish club that can pitch in together to have an on hand tank, prepared and ready, with directions to locate certified scales.
     
  2. redfestiva

    redfestiva Member

    Messages:
    31
    State:
    Ohio
    Name:
    Steve
    I just heard about this today and got the story, really sad. They said that another factor in a fish this size is that it was roughly 25 years old and in its final time of life . Its mere size may have been a disadvantage to its survival as obesity would be to a person.
     
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  3. typer181

    typer181 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,963
    State:
    Indy
    Name:
    Eric
    How many people have a livewell in their boat big enough for a fish of this size? That's a problem right there in most cases, and the fish isn't headed to the dock yet.
    I think one solution may come from conservation officers and their ability to collect the data necessary to confirm the details.
    All it would take is for COs to carry a state certified scale in their boats (there are hand scales that can be certified), and a method of collecting and preserving the DNA of the fish. That equipment could fit in a Pelican case.
    I understand that sometimes officers would have more important issues to deal with than to put their boat on the water and go confirm a record catch. But at least make it an option, especially when they are on the water already patrolling.
    The fish would only need to come out of the water for a relatively small amount of time to be weighed and to collect it's DNA.

    And most of you know this, but for those who don't, if you are fishing deep water and you hook into a fish that you don't want to injure make sure not to reel it in too quickly. You've got to give the fish a chance to burp.
     
  4. 108cop

    108cop Member

    Messages:
    45
    State:
    va
    Name:
    Kevin Adcock
    I saw that too, unless the biologist and certified scales are on board not real sure what else could’ve been, those guys seemed to do everything to a T. I’m sure they feel terrible but I think they did an awesome job
     
  5. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    341
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    The new state record flathead caught by Tyler Barnes had a perfect set up. The local bait shop had certified scales and a tank outside waiting. Fish swam away in great shape
     
  6. Thunder head

    Thunder head Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Georgia
    Name:
    Steven
    I dont know how valid this is. And i didnt see it. He didnt have any reason to lie about it.

    The guide i fished with on the james river. Said he had a young girl catch 94 pound fish back during the summer. He worked and worked trying to revive it. It kept swimming off and then floating up. Eventually "after dark" he took rocks and propped them around him in shallow water to keep it upright. He left him there. He came back a couple hours later and he was gone.
     
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  7. Flat Top

    Flat Top Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    George
    I made the decision years ago that any fish that I catch that is not an "eater/keeper" stays at the bank near the waters edge, as close as possible, and is released then and there. If it was a PB or a real trophy fish, I would get a quick length and girth and a photo at the bank (at least I am equipped to do that), and I would handle the fish as delicately as possible...no pick ups, etc, then insure that the fish is sound, and let it go. Hauling a 100+ pound fish, trying to keep from injuring it, getting it into a tank, transporting it to who knows where and back to the water again and hoping it will live, is not my idea of a good day of fishing, and most of the time I fish alone anyway! I am not the man I once was!!!!

    There is a hammock looking thing that biologists use to lift large fish out of the water for weighing/inspection/tagging, etc, and it is said that is the only way to handle a large fish out of the water. The fishes structure is supported by water at all times so it stands to reason that when they are out of the water they can be easily damaged (displaced/damaged internal organs and such). Then, as said above, having a tank and aerator to handle a large fish is something most of us dont carry (I have a 100 gal tub in my pickup, but its not for the purpose of carrying a live fish all over town to find a certified scale).

    For fishermen that are concerned about the fisheries and the importance of catch and release, and the sport of catching big fish, this is an item of concern, and I dont believe there are any easy answers. Most of the "record" fish that I have seen in my lifetime were dead......or died shortly after being caught. Any fisherman that can keep a big fish alive and well through the certification process and back to the water..... gets a big tip of the hat from me!
     
  8. philly35

    philly35 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    312
    State:
    iowa
    Name:
    Philip
    To the OP, when you said maybe it was the surface temps, I believe the surface temp of a river is the same as the bottom. The water on a river is always rolling. It is not just a straight flow.
     
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  9. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    341
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    It was caught on lake Gaston. That time of the year... I expect 91 degree surface temp. There is actually a usgi website that gives the water level, the surface temp, the water flow and some have saturated oxygen levels. However.... river temps do change. mostly daytime and nightime. I'll pull up my river and take a pic
     
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  10. 1gr8bldr

    1gr8bldr Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    341
    State:
    north carolina
    Name:
    Marty
    This is my local river. I 20200721_214811.jpg t changes mostly from day to night. However, it's at night mostly that water from the generating dam 20 miles upstream reach this monitor
     
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  11. metalman

    metalman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,981
    State:
    IN
    Name:
    Winston
    George,
    If I could give you a double like for that post, I would!
    I have two of those "hammock looking things" in the boat. I've only needed to use one a couple of times and only to retain really large fish in the water until they got their breath back.
    If I ever get a fish that I think will break the record it will go undocumented and unwitnessed unless someone is with me. It'll never leave the water except to be lifted just clear in the hammock to be weighed.
    If I'm alone, so be it. I'll know and that's good enough; if I can get a picture that shows its size then so much the better.
    I don't buy this "obese, unhealthy fish at the end of its life" thing being the cause of death. It's not being obese or old that kills them, it's the stress of the catch. Yes, their age and health wasn't on their side but I'll bet they would live on happily if not subjected to the stress of being caught and toted around in tanks and waterless tubs.
    Fish are not people but a 25 year old fish is probably the equivalent of a 70 - 80 year old person. Make that person to do a triathlon and all but the select few who do such things for fun and have trained for years, would die during or after.

    ...W
     
  12. Flat Top

    Flat Top Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    George
    Thanks Winston and back at ya!....The way I view "trophy's, records, or whatever, is.... that if "I" know that is all that matters to me....if "others" dont know (or believe me), thats ok too.

    If somebody is properly equipped (and very few are) to remove a fish from the water and transport it to have it certified for a record thats fine, but to NOT be equipped and somehow think the fish is going to survive, is wishful thinking at best.

    When a large salt water fish is caught for trophy or record its dead...plain and simple. I believe the same holds true for a big (old) cat unless it is released directly after a catch, and possibly even then the stress of the battle may eventually kill it. Old age affects every living thing, and catfish are no different.

    Its a tough subject. There is just something grand about an animal that has lived for so long. I can appreciate the trophy aspect of landing a big fish, but, I can also appreciate returning it unharmed to fight another day....or to live out the rest of its life.

    One of my major gripes: If the "state" deems it so darn important to certify a fish for record, and their oath is to protect and preserve the wildlife...then it seems to me that they should "come" to the fish to certify it! We pay all these fees and taxes to keep the state game departments running and they cant even send a pickup truck with a certified scale to weigh the fish? I mean how many potential state records are caught on a daily basis anyway?!?!?!? Bring the scale, weigh the fish....protect and preserve the fish! Rant over!
     
  13. Thunder head

    Thunder head Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Georgia
    Name:
    Steven
    You could go one step further.
    The IGAF will certify your scale after the fact. Catch fish, take photos / video of weighing fish. Go see game and fish to get your scale certified.
     
  14. Flat Top

    Flat Top Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    George
    Now, that sounds like a good deal!!!! The states should allow for the same method.
     
  15. twaskom

    twaskom Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    9,868
    State:
    Indiana
    Name:
    Tom
    There is a reason that someone other than the person that caught the fish provides the CERTIFIED scale. ALL PEOPLE are not honest.
     
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  16. Flat Top

    Flat Top Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    George
    and that right there is the problem!
     
  17. Brackish*Water

    Brackish*Water Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,273
    State:
    Texas
    Name:
    Wesley
    an interesting read if you can find it is the guy that caught the world record striped bass (saltwater)
    life was never the same
    and this was waay before social media
     
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  18. Flat Top

    Flat Top Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    591
    State:
    Missouri
    Name:
    George
    Mens Journal. "The biggest fish story ever told."

    The story is on line...good read.